Wednesday 8/24

Daniel Johnston, King of Diamonds

(Neumos) See preview.

Outdoor Performing Arts Festival featuring over 100 artists, food trucks, a beer garden and more!
Celebrate the return of the live arts in a safe, outdoor setting. Capitol Hill, Sep. 18-19.

Brandi Carlile, Katie Herzig

(Woodland Park Zoo) Brandi Carlile's show tonight at the Woodland Park Zoo is sold out, which is how it should be. If you don't know already, the Seattle-based, Columbia Records–contracted Carlile possesses one of the world's most amazing voices, a casually deployed powerhouse she routinely wraps around charming pop/rock/Americana compositions. She's also a very good human, cofounding the Fight the Fear Campaign in the wake of the 2009 South Park rapes and murder. If you're lucky enough to have tickets, enjoy. DAVID SCHMADER

Thursday 8/25

Splinters, Alexander Trust, Kaleidosaur

(Josephine) See Data Breaker.

Santana, Michael Franti

(White River Amphitheatre) Who are these people willing to pay $40–$110 to see Santana in 2011? Are they aging hippies who tripped to Latin-psych mindbombs like Santana and Abraxas? Are they guitar aficionados enamored of Carlos's fluid, conflagratory riffs? Are they spiritual souls who still play Señor Santana's collaborative LPs with jazz immortals John McLaughlin (Love Devotion Surrender) and Alice Coltrane (Illuminations), and fusionoid gems like Caravanserai? Are they eternal optimists hoping to catch the band do one more storming version of Babatunde Olatunji's "Jingo"? Or are they affluent, "Smooth" types warmed by Santana's late-career hits, which were pallid simulacra of their peak material? Dunno, but once the florid, crystalline solo for "Black Magic Woman" arises, all of these questions will dissolve into nothingness. DAVE SEGAL

Mouthbreathers, Tit Pig

(Chop Suey) Who needs Tom Rasmussen's aggressive-canvasser legislation when Tit Pig's Sean "Prawn" Evoy has already solved the problem? "Whenever one talks to me, I just walk up to them, look straight at them, and say, 'I'm gay,'" he recently said. "Everyone in Seattle is so politically correct that they just short-circuit and have no idea what to say back. By the time they come up with something, I'm already halfway down the block." Based on the In the Red 7-inch I've heard from Mouthbreathers, they play competent, if somewhat run-of-the-mill, contemporary garage rock. GRANT BRISSEY

Friday 8/26

Sleepy Eyes of Death, Flexions, Crypts

(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests.

Nazca Lines, Virgin Islands, Blood Orange Paradise

(Sunset) This here is the record-release show for Nazca Lines' hyperactive Hyperventilation, which is full of jagged guitar interplay, acerbic vocals, and drumming that makes expert use of the whole kit—all of which is made crisp and biting via producer Matt Bayles's Midas touch. Hyperventilation also boasts second guitar duties from former Blood Brothers/Jaguar Love shredder Cody Votolato. Make no mistake, this is a scorching set of post-hardcore cuts, and it all should be a blast to see live. GRANT BRISSEY

Malaikat Dan Singa, Mountainss, Stickers, My Posse Don't Do Homework

(Black Lodge) My Posse Don't Do Homework—besides being an all-girl three-piece band from Seattle—is a book written in 1992 by a badass lady teacher (and former marine) from Pennsylvania named LouAnne Johnson. In 1996, the book's title was changed to Dangerous Minds and sometimes badass Michelle Pfeiffer played LouAnne in a Hollywood movie. "I wrote this book after working with at-risk teens because I was concerned about how easily adults give up on kids who have made mistakes," Johnson states on her website. I'm not sure if the Seattle band My Posse's name was inspired by any of this, but I hope so. The world is quick to give up on teens—and also is severely lacking mindful ladies who are playing dangerous music. KELLY O See also Underage.

Midday Veil, Magic Leaves, Wayfinders, Rose Windows

(Comet) You probably know—or should know—headliners Midday Veil by now, so let's focus on Rose Windows. The local octet recently made a devastating first impression on me at Black Lodge, loosing dense plumes of wild, sensual psychedelia that were more tantric mantras (or mantric tantras) than trad songs. Every track gradually ascended with a swirling majesty and swept up the crowd, who supplicated in a worshipful frenzy. It's rare to see a rock group galvanize an audience so thoroughly so early in their career. It behooves you to catch Rose Windows now, while they're still hungry as hell and gathering momentum toward a towering peak. DAVE SEGAL

The Hoot Hoots, Solvents, Gary Reynolds and the Brides of Obscurity

(Columbia City Theater) If you like your pop music with a dose of goofery (let's pretend that's a word), then check out the Hoot Hoots, an owl-loving Seattle band who play low-maintenance, fuzzy upbeat songs about robots in space and sad suburban kids. They're a must-hear for fans of Boat. In fact, their latest record, Silly Lecture Series (available for free listening at, recalls a number of greats, including the Flaming Lips ("Stop on a Dime") and Ash ("Cupcake"). And while I've yet to catch them live, photos suggest their performances may sometimes involve bunny suits. MEGAN SELING

Saturday 8/27

Wooden Shjips, Night Beats

(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests.

Retic, Relcad, Gunnar Lockwood, the Naturebot, Your City Sleeps, Joe Bellingham

(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.

Octopus Fest: Kinski, Lozen, Religious Girls, Nightmare Fortress, Dingus and the Buttfucks, Black Nite Crash, White Coward, Says, 13 Glowing Phantoms, DUG DJs, DJ Introcut, Terry Radjaw

(Lo-Fi/Black Lodge/Victory Lounge) The appropriately named Octopus Fest, not to be confused with the now-defunct Wooden Octopus Skull Experimental Musick PFestival, is a showcase of the many musical tentacles that protrude from the body of this diverse city. It's a stacked bill that takes over the block of Eastlake between Republican and Harrison, with some very uncommon denominators—wayfaring atmospheric heavies Kinski rock the block with the gothic newsie-Sioux band Nightmare Fortress, Oakland-based experimental pop band Religious Girls, Lozen, White Coward, Black Nite Crash, Says, and special mysterious guest 13 Glowing Phantoms. Additionally, the renegade funky dads Dingus and the Buttfucks (Truckasauras's live-band alter ego) will play on the rooftop at sunset, while DUG's triple-threat DJs, DJ Introcut, and Mad Rad's Terry Radjaw man the Technics all night. TRAVIS RITTER See also Sound Check.

Pain in the Grass: Korn, Queensryche, Five Finger Death Punch, Hinder, Chevelle, and more

(White River Amphitheatre) I once dressed up as a bright yellow ear of corn—no joke, a full-body foam corn suit—and interviewed Korn fans in the Tacoma Dome's parking lot. It seemed appropriate and fair, seeing as how most Korn fans' favorite song is still "Freak on a Leash." Korn fans didn't think I was very funny, however—and/or they were so stoned, they believed me when I told them I was "with the band." What I gathered from it all is that Korn fans unabashedly still love Korn. They're loyal and true, and I can't fuck with true love, not even when I'm dressed as a giant vegetable. Korn know their fans, too, titling their 2010 album Korn III: Remember Who You Are. Oh, yeah—Queensryche and a bunch of other bands are playing, too. KELLY O

Samothrace, Mico de Noche, He Whose Ox Is Gored, Serial Hawk

(Comet) Let's say there are two schools of thought in the world of heavy music. On one side, there's the let's-burn-this-fucker-down, tear-it-up attitude of your thrash bands, hardcore acts, and such. Then there's the meditative, methodically bludgeoning end of the spectrum—your Sabbath worshippers, navel gazers with delay pedals, and riff writers who sound like they're drowning in tar. These schools aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but tonight's lineup veers toward the latter. The dark panoramic vistas of Samothrace, the dexterous stoner-stomp of Mico de Noche, the epic shimmering precision of He Whose Ox Is Gored, and the instrumental sludge of Serial Hawk all flex more brain than brawn. But the absence of thrown beer cans and circle pits doesn't mean you shouldn't leave the show sweaty and sore. BRIAN COOK

Ghosts I've Met, Pearly Gate Music, Dolorean

(Columbia City Theater) It's not often that you stumble across a perfect bill, but tonight's show at the venerable Columbia City Theater is about as impeccable as they come (assuming you favor Low over Tool, of course.) Portland's Dolorean have been quietly turning out low-key folk pop for years, while Barsuk's Pearly Gate Music have been racking up accolades for tunes that MOJO termed "lo-fi, high octane." But the true standout here is opener Ghosts I've Met. Mastermind Sam Watts has a gift for crafting hushed tunes that are simultaneously arresting, devastating, and soothing. His rich, warm voice, golden melodies, sparse arrangements, and his cohorts' spectral harmonies create the aural equivalent of a beautifully washed-out vintage summer Polaroid, full of longing and hope and tempered with regret and loss. BARBARA MITCHELL

The Soft Hills, the Curious Mystery, Case Studies

(Sunset) Local band the Soft Hills wander around the same territory of dreamy, soothing folk rock as Wilco, the Cave Singers, and Fleet Foxes: soft, high, slightly trembling vocal harmonies, slow strums on bright-sounding guitars, pastoral lyrics. If the owl and the pussycat had a boom box as they set out to sea, the Soft Hills would probably be on heavy rotation. The Curious Mystery are a little more percussive and psych-bluesy. Their album Rotting Slowly has some strong Doors-y moments, if Jesse Sykes had been behind the microphone—singer Shana Cleveland has a similar mournful, smoky vocal quality. Jesse Lortz's new band, Case Studies, round out tonight's trinity by leaning in a more Andrew Bird direction: guitar, talking blues, a chorus of female harmonies swelling up and down in the background, and some quiet plucking on what sound like violins. They sound sad and pretty. BRENDAN KILEY


(Chapel Performance Space) The clarinet has an honest voice, but not so honest you don't want to keep hearing it; it's less obvious than the saxophone, less upright-and-uptight than the oboe. You could listen to it all day. So start this Saturday by listening to Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. Close the windows. Play it loud. Then go over to the Chapel, where the voices of three clarinets will talk—improvisationally. Neume is the name of the group, a newish ensemble that have only just begun playing out. The lineup is Jenny Ziefel, Jesse Canterbury, and Paul Hoskin (founder of the Seattle Festival of Improvised Music in 1986). You want a whole day of choreographed, then spontaneous, clarinet voices in your ear. JEN GRAVES

Sunday 8/28

Pollens, Katie Kate, Plant Party, Mangled Bohemians

(Comet) Over the last few years, Katie Kate's been on a diligent grind that's paid serious dividends. Heavy hiphop thinkers like Larry Mizell Jr., Charles Mudede, and Trent Moorman have given her props in The Stranger and on Line Out, and I'd like to add my two cents to this chorus of approval. With Flatland, rapper Katie Kate enters a prominent spot in Seattle hiphop's increasingly crowded upper echelon. The production on Flatland is consistently inventive, often venturing into weird IDM-ish territory (check the otherworldly, oddly metered "Rutiger" for proof; sounds like Beans, baby), while KK's supple, acute delivery and smart lyrics satisfyingly wrap themselves around your gray matter. She can sing with moxie, too. Pollens are a Seattle sextet that traffic in Dirty Projectors–like, orchestral global pop. Their music sprawls raggedly, but with paradoxical complexity, especially in the vocal department. It's never boring. DAVE SEGAL

Support The Stranger

Monday 8/29

Metal Monday: Royalty in Ruins, Thou Shall Kill, SwordFight, Shedu

(2 Bit) Partying on a Monday can be viewed a couple different ways: You could approach it as an extension of your weekend, capping off whatever brutal sounds you forced into your skull with a final night of fucked-up fun. Conversely, Monday could be the beginning of a whole new cycle of destruction. Either way, 2 Bit's weekly showcase of heathenry, Metal Monday, consistently provides diverse local metal for the price of a beer. Mountlake Terrace–based three-piece Royalty in Ruins play shredding metalcore topped with a Lamb of God–ian groove while Seattle's Thou Shall Kill bludgeon listeners with meaty slabs of blackened, brutal death metal. Plus, fans of more left-brained, experimental tech-metal will certainly dig SwordFight's melodic fretboard wizardry and dramatic musical shifts. KEVIN DIERS

Tuesday 8/30

Japandroids, Bass Drum of Death

(Sunset) As duos go, Vancouver, British Columbia's Japandroids rank up there with No Age, thanks to inventive, brimming, anthemic post-punk, with choruses like "We used to dream/Now we worry about dying." As duos go, Bass Drum of Death's basal contemporary garage rock isn't all that adventurous, but it's stripped-down and pretty arresting on record, though the songwriting leaves something to be desired. Internet footage suggests that the boys aren't able to translate the immediacy of the album to a live show so well, but I've been wrong approximately one million times before. GRANT BRISSEY